Earlier this week we gave you a few tips on how to prepare your vehicle for driving in the dark. You may have noticed a trend in our article posts so far in that we have a high focus on safety. While we wish to see our customers more often, we do not wish the stress of an accident on anyone. For some, driving at night is a constant challenge due to depth perception. Several drivers suffer from a blinding between the first moments of sunset until full sundown. The pigment of the sun gives off just the right reflection that everything looks the same. You may have experienced this effect when the sun is rising in front of you. There is a short time where the sun is so bright that you cannot tell what color the street lights are or if a car is stopped or driving. The same thing happens to certain drivers at dusk.
The next time you are taking a short trip to the grocery store for milk or doing a long distance trip try a few of these tips to make your travels safer. If you are not comfortable driving in the dark, then it’s best to plan for driving during the daylight hours, if at all possible. Remember, safety comes first, and if you must drive at night, it’s best to stick to well-lit roads that are familiar to you. Great Plains Auto Body (Omaha Collision Repair Facility) has the following tips to help prepare yourself for night driving:
Smoking has been a nasty habit for centuries. It is suggested not to smoke when you drive as nicotine and carbon monoxide hamper night vision. Not to mention your vehicle fills up with smoke causing the windshield to get a frosted appearance that is difficult to clean off.
Roadrage is a serious problem. The slightest thing that set a person off, whether it’s someone cutting you off or someone driving slower than you want them to. Work and personal life can also cause people to be angry too. We’ve seen in the movies all to often where the boyfriend or girlfriend gets mad and then gets in their car, hits the accelerator and screams out of the parking lot. It’s those cases that we strongly advise NOT driving as your concentration on the road is much lower.
The phone is a great invention, but driving at night and holding a conversation on the phone will reduce concentration on the road. We’ve all seen the advertisements telling people to not text and drive, but there’s also a movement to have people hang up their phones while driving too, and it can work! Ireland was the first country to introduce laws that prevent people from using the phone while driving, and it works. If you ever travel to Ireland, you’ll find that people obey that law regularly, and you’ll often find people pulled off the side of the road or in a parking lot talking on the phone rather than driving. It’s a distraction, and a big distraction at night!
This might seem silly for me to have to mention this but it is extremely important, don’t drink and drive! Alcohol not only impairs driving skills it can induce fatigue. When you consume alcohol your motor skills are in slow motion causing your natural
reflexes to be slower in addition to having bad judgments on distance and speed. If you’re too tired to drive, delay your departure until you’ve gotten some rest. Driving while drowsy is dangerous as it dulls concentration and slows reaction times.
If you are one of those that suffer from the ‘blinding’ effect mentioned above, you might opt to wear glasses to reduce glare, but avoid yellow tinted sunglasses and opt instead for anti-reflective prescription glasses. When utilizing yellow tinted sunglasses, you can cause eye fatigue making your eyes work harder. Glasses are not like socks where it is one size fits all. If you currently wear glasses now for vision, invest in prescription sunglasses. Some drivers will sacrifice vision to wear a fancy pair of sunglasses; while we all enjoy looking good it is smart to stay safe. Invest in the right glasses.
Schedule routine eye exams to check for health issues related to poor night vision, such as cataracts. It’s suggested that checkups be scheduled every three years if you’re under 40, every two years until you’re 60, and annually after that.
Want more detailed information? Contact us – Great Plains Auto Body is an independent, family owned and operated collision repair facility providing auto body repair, frame repair, painting touch up and repair services for all makes and models of import and domestic cars. We have three locations. Omaha Metro (Grover Street and Emmet Street) and Council Bluffs, IA provide Enterprise rental cars while your repairs are being completed.